Tassa Saldi, Chief Science Officer, TUMI Genomics

Dr. Tassa Saldi is an accomplished molecular biologist with almost 25 years of research experience in RNA biology, infectious disease, and molecular pathogen detection. Dr. Saldi completed her graduate and post-doctoral studies at the University of Colorado, where she was awarded a prestigious fellowship from the American Cancer Society and was one of eighteen doctoral fellows nationwide invited to present her research at the Aspen Cancer Conference.  She has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles in top tier journals. During the pandemic, Dr. Saldi directed the COVID-19 testing lab at the University of Colorado where she helped to design and implement multiple qPCR assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 later submitted to the FDA for approval. As the Chief Science Officer of TUMI Genomics, Dr. Saldi and her team have designed qPCR tests for the detection of numerous cannabis pathogens, including Hop Latent Viroid (HLVd).  In collaboration with Texas A&M University, she and her team are conducting research aimed at understanding the biology and mode of transmission of HLVd in cannabis, including characterizing the rate of seed transmission, understanding viroid travel through plant tissue and characterizing viroid load throughout the plant. These and other studies are aimed at increasing the understanding of HLVd pathogenesis specifically in cannabis, which will allow the development of data-driven guidelines to prevent spread and economics loss due to the devastating pathogen.